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What Kind of Church Is This?
Print Edition Rev. July 2012

What Kind of Church Is This?


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KJV Adult Bible Class


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Preschool Make-n-Share


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High School Student


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Learn about our history

For more than 145 years, Standard Publishing has been serving the Christian community with products that have but one purpose: bringing the Bible to life!

Standard Publishing's rich heritage has its roots with a group of physicians, attorneys, educators, preachers, and James A. Garfield, who would later become the twentieth president of the United States.

In December 1865 this group met at the home of T. W. Phillips, a noted businessman and philanthropist in New Castle, Pennsylvania. They met to consider launching a journal that would be "devoted to New Testament Christianity."

The group organized a publishing association, funded it with $20,000 in capital, and named the journal Christian Standard. Isaac Errett of Detroit, Michigan, was named the first editor.

The first issue came off the press dated April 7, 1866.

After a year, funds were exhausted, and the founders wanted to shut the business down. Errett wasn't ready to give up yet though. So the original investors gave him the journal-and all its debts!

Errett continued as editor, even as he became president of a new college in Alliance, Ohio, in 1868. Soon the situation began to improve:

  • In 1869 he partnered with R. W. Carroll, a printer and publisher, in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • In 1872 Standard Publishing was formed.
  • Readership grew, and in three years the company was incorporated. Shortly thereafter, Errett and his son Russell purchased Carroll's shares and became sole owners.

The new company became a leading publisher of church resources:

  • After formation of the International Sunday-School Lessons by the American Sunday School Union, the first Uniform Lessons appeared in Christian Standard in 1873.
  • Standard Publishing pioneered Sunday school materials for all ages. Examples of age-appropriate journals included Sunday School Standard, Boy's Life, and Girlhood Days.
  • Young People's Standard was created to serve the Christian Endeavor movement, founded in 1888.
  • Six years later Young People's Standard became The Lookout.
  • In 1923 Standard Publishing became the first publisher of Vacation Bible School (VBS) materials with a five-week, all-day program.

In 1955 the Errett family sold the business to John Bolten Sr. Bolten eventually made the company a publicly owned corporation. In late 1964 it started selling stock to the public through the New York Stock Exchange.

A new chapter in Standard Publishing's history began in July 2006, when the Wicks Group, a New York-based private equity firm, acquired Standard Publishing. With Standard Publishing as the platform company, the business is poised to grow both organically and through acquisition.

In 2007 the company moved to attractive, modern offices on the north side of Cincinnati, where it continues to provide resources for the church around the world.

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